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    Best beginner mountain bike: Our Top 5 in 2024

    Alice Huot
    Alice Huot
    May 22, 2024 8 min
    Best beginner mountain bike: Our Top 5 in 2024

    Best beginner mountain bike? Looking to get into mountain biking but not sure where to begin? Check out our top 5 best beginner mountain bikes to help get you started. we have carefully chosen each of these based on their key factors as well as overall value.  

    What is the best beginner mountain bike? 

    Best beginner mountain bike: key features to consider

    When choosing a beginner mountain bike, there are several key features to consider to ensure you get one that best suits your needs. By keeping these factors in mind, you will more easily discover the best beginner mountain bike for women and men alike!

    • Frame material: Typically made of aluminium, carbon fiber, steel, or titanium. Aluminium is usually a great choice for a beginner mountain bike as it is typically most affordable.  
    • Suspension type: All mountain bikes fall into three categories: rigid (no suspension), hardtail (front suspension), full-suspension (front/rear suspension). We recommend you stick with either hartails or full-suspension. Hardtails tend to be more budget-minded and simpler which is great for beginner cyclists, but full-suspension bikes offer more comfort and control on rugged terrain.
    • Wheel Size: Nowadays, mountain bikes mainly come in wheel sizes of either 27.5” or 29”. While the 27.5” offers slightly better maneuverability, the 29” is an excellent choice for beginner mountain bikers due to their ability to more easily roll over bumpy terrain. No matter your choice, do opt for wide grippy tires for added traction.
    • Brakes: Disc brakes are ideal as they offer better stopping power and performance, especially in wet or muddy conditions. Hydraulic disc brakes are even better than mechanical as they require less effort to engage, are auto-adjusting as the brake pads wear down and are lower maintenance.  
    • Gearing: Choose a bike with a wide range of gears to handle various terrains. Most beginner mountain bikes come with a 1x (single chainring) or 2x (double chainring) drivetrain. A 1x drivetrain simplifies shifting and requires less maintenance.
    • Fit: Most of all, make sure the bike fits you properly. A comfortable fit is crucial for max pleasure and avoiding injuries.  

    Top 5 best beginner mountain bikes explained 

    What is the best beginner mountain bike?

    Here is our top 5 best mountain bikes for beginners:

    • Giant Talon 4
    • Cannondale Trail 7
    • Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    • Marin Bobcat Trail 5
    • Canyon Spectral 5

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    Best value for money: Giant Talon 4

    The Giant Talon 4 is perfect for beginners seeking a budget-friendly yet capable ride.

    best beginner mountain bike
    Best value for money: Giant Talon 4

    Feature

    Details

    Drivetrain

    MicroShift SL-M718 1x8 30T (27.5” wheels) or 32T (29” wheels), 12-46 cassette

    Frame Material

    Aluminium

    Fork

    SR Suntour XCE, 80mm (27.5” wheels) or 100mm (29” wheels) travel

    Brakes

    TKB-172 Mechanical Disc

    Wheel Size

    27.5” or 29”

    Price

    $630

    Weight

    29.5 lbs

    Ideal Rider

    Best mountain bike for beginners seeking a budget-friendly yet capable bike

    Pros

    Lightweight frame, well-balanced for solid stability

    Cons

    Entry-level fork might lack responsiveness on technical trails

    It features a MicroShift SL-M718 1x8 drivetrain with options for 30T or 32T chainrings and a 12-46 cassette. The aluminum frame ensures a lightweight build, while the SR Suntour XCE fork offers 80mm travel for 27.5” wheels or 100mm for 29” wheels. TKB-172 mechanical disc brakes provide reliable stopping power. Available in 27.5” or 29” wheel sizes, the bike weighs 29.5 lbs and is priced at $630. Pros include a lightweight frame and solid stability, though the entry-level fork may lack responsiveness on technical trails.

    High performance features: Cannondale Trail 7

    This beginner hardtail mountain bike is ideal for those seeking versatility for both trail riding and urban commuting.

    best beginner mountain bike
    High performance features: Cannondale Trail 7

    Feature

    Details

    Drivetrain

    microSHIFT 2x8 with 36/22T chainrings and 11-34T cassette

    Frame Material

    Aluminium

    Fork

    SR Suntour XCT, 100mm travel

    Brakes

    Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc

    Wheel Size

    29"

    Price

    $800

    Weight

    32 lbs

    Ideal Rider

    Best beginner hardtail mountain bike for those seeking versatility for hitting the trails and urban commuting

    Pros

    Easy to ride, strong components, comfortable and balanced geometry

    Cons

    On the slightly heavy side, which is felt when climbing

    It features a microSHIFT 2x8 drivetrain with 36/22T chainrings and an 11-34T cassette. The aluminium frame is paired with an SR Suntour XCT fork providing 100mm of travel. Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes ensure reliable stopping power. The bike comes with 29" wheels, weighs 32 lbs, and is priced at $800. Pros include its easy ride, strong components, and comfortable, balanced geometry, though it is slightly heavy, which can be noticeable when climbing.

    A classic performance machine: Specialized Rockhopper Comp

    Best beginner mountain bike
    A classic performance machine: Specialized Rockhopper Comp

    Feature

    Details

    Drivetrain

    Shimano Deore, RD-M5120 1x10, 30T chainring, 11-46T cassette

    Frame Material

    Aluminium

    Fork

    RockShox Judy, 80/90/100mm travel (size-specific)

    Brakes

    Shimano BR-MT200 Hydraulic Disc

    Wheel Size

    27.5” or 29”

    Price

    $950

    Weight

    28 lbs

    Ideal Rider

    Best mountain bike for beginners looking for a playful, capable bike for trail riding

    Pros

    Best hardtail mountain bike in its category, unbeatable technology in this price range

    Cons

    Basic fork may limit performance on more technical trails

    This bike features a Shimano Deore drivetrain with an RD-M5120 1x10 setup, including a 30T chainring and an 11-46T cassette. Its aluminium frame provides durability and responsiveness, while the RockShox Judy fork offers 80/90/100mm of travel (size-specific). Equipped with Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, it comes in both 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes. Priced at $950 and weighing 28 lbs, it's tailored for beginners seeking a playful, capable ride for trail adventures. Noteworthy pros include its top-tier status in the hardtail category and unbeatable technology for its price. However, its basic fork might restrict performance on more technical trails.

    Innovative, performance-driven: Marin Bobcat Trail 5

    best beginner mountain bike
    Innovative, performance-driven: Marin Bobcat Trail 5

    Feature

    Details

    Drivetrain

    1x11 Shimano Deore, 32T chainring, 11-51T cassette

    Frame Material

    Aluminium

    Fork

    SR Suntour XCR32, 120mm travel

    Brakes

    Shimano BR-MT200 Hydraulic Disc

    Wheel Size

    27.5” or 29”

    Price

    $1000

    Weight

    30 lbs

    Ideal Rider

    Beginner mountain bike riders seeking modern features and capable performance

    Pros

    Simplified 1x drivetrain, quality fork, lightweight frame, great bang-for-your-buck MTB

    Cons

    Higher price compared to some competitors

    This bike boasts a modern setup with a 1x11 Shimano Deore drivetrain featuring a 32T chainring and an 11-51T cassette. Its aluminium frame provides durability, while the SR Suntour XCR32 fork offers 120mm of travel. Equipped with Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, it's available in both 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes. Priced at $1000 and weighing 30 lbs, it's tailored for beginner riders seeking modern features and capable performance. Key pros include its simplified 1x drivetrain, quality fork, lightweight frame, and excellent value for money. However, it comes with a higher price tag compared to some competitors.

    Best beginner full-suspension mountain bike: Canyon Spectral 5

    best beginner mountain bike
    Best beginner full-suspension mountain bike: Canyon Spectral 5

    Feature

    Details

    Drivetrain

    SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 with 32T chainring and 11-50T cassette

    Frame Material

    Aluminium

    Fork

    RockShox 35 Silver TK, 150mm travel

    Rear Shock

    RockShox Deluxe Select+

    Brakes

    SRAM DB8 Hydraulic Disc

    Wheel Size

    29” (XS and X equipped with 27.5”)

    Price

    $2,500

    Weight

    30 lbs

    Ideal Rider

    The best beginner full-suspension mountain bike for those looking for one that can grow with their skills. This MTB also doubles as the best beginner downhill mountain bike due to its advanced technical features.

    Pros

    Aggressive trail geometry, high-quality fork, full suspension for extra comfort and technical capabilities

    Cons

    Higher price point, may be slightly overkill for total beginners

    This full-suspension mountain bike is equipped with a SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain featuring a 32T chainring and an 11-50T cassette. Its aluminium frame ensures durability, complemented by a RockShox 35 Silver TK fork with 150mm of travel and a RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock. The SRAM DB8 hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable stopping power.

    While it typically comes with 29” wheels, XS and X sizes are equipped with 27.5” wheels. Priced at $2,500 and weighing 30 lbs, it's aimed at beginner riders seeking a bike that can grow with their skills, with advanced technical features suitable for downhill riding. Key pros include its aggressive trail geometry, high-quality fork, and full suspension for extra comfort and technical capabilities. However, its higher price point and potential overkill for total beginners are notable cons.

    Best beginner mountain bike
    Best beginner mountain bike: ready to get yours?

    Best beginner mountain bike: ready to get yours?  

    This carefully crafted list of top 5 best beginner mountain bikes offers bikes with a range of features and specifications to suit different needs and riding styles. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly option or something with higher performance, there is a bike for every beginner mountain biker. Just visit buycycle, click on “discover bikes” and enter your specifications.

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    Best beginner mountain bike
    Best beginner mountain bike: ready to get yours?